How to earn more than 2% cash back with Citi price rewind

If you’re like most people striving for financial independence, you probably want to take advantage of every offer and angle you can in order to speed up the time to your financial independence date.  If you are responsible with your credit cards and pay your balance in full each month, a nice and simple cash back credit card is probably an attractive way to get some of your purchase prices back. For those of you interested in just having one simple cash back credit card with a high cash return and no annual fee, I recommend the Citi Double Cash

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Finding your frugal compromise without destroying your relationship

“You spent how much?”  Does this sound familiar?  So often I have read about how we über frugal early retirement weirdos are supposed to somehow magically, perhaps via telepathy, in-grain in our spouse our love for frugality that comes naturally to us. Question, how many of you out there have grown up, with identical values, parents, lifestyles, hobbies, as your spouse or partner?  I’m waiting… Can I be painfully honest here, just for a moment?  Most of us do not have spouses that share the same love/passion/desire for FIRE as we do.  Usually, from what I have read, one person

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Livin’ life on the frugal edge- My work lunch strategy

At times I feel like a bit of a soldier in my office, complete with frugal armor, and surrounded by sword wielding spenders intent on destroying their hard-earned income as fast as they can.  How can one simply see $10-$12 per day, OR MORE, exit their wealth empire without even flinching?  The sad truth is, they purchase a hot lunch each day from a local establishment at a hefty price.  Even worse, some will drive their automobiles to do this. How I stock my work lunch There is no one right or wrong way to pack a work lunch.  Some

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A beginner’s guide to early retirement investing and financial independence

So you’ve paid off all your high interest debt, have a job, and know that one day you would like to either retire early and/or become financially independent.  For nearly two decades, I have been successfully saving and investing for early retirement.  So what are the next steps? It seems personal finance advice is all over the board and can be overwhelming. I am here to tell you that financial independence planning is easier than you think. Here is your easy and comprehensive guide to early retirement investing. Step One: Max out your contributions to your 401(k) plan (or 403b,

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So you wanna be a baller? Frugality vs. Side Hustle- only one clear winner

“You can’t be a baller on a budget.”  These were the words a friend of mine, who sells Audis,  uses to sell luxury cars to people who want to haggle the price of a car down and, consequently, cut into his commissions.  I can assure you that, in order to achieve financial independence at a reasonable or early age, you absolutely can not spend like a baller. Financial Independence requires building up your net worth quickly, but how? If you are like I was, you have a vague idea that you should be saving as much as you can, pre-tax, and

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Pay lower taxes by itemizing deductions every other year

Do you own a house with a mortgage on it?  If so, you may be a good candidate to itemize your deductions on your tax return.  Before we dive into why and how to do this, let’s first define what itemized deductions are, shall we?  According to Wikipedia: Under United States tax law, itemized deductions are eligible expenses that individual taxpayers can claim on federal income tax returns and which decrease their taxable income, and is claimable in place of a standard deduction, if available. Let’s go over some of the most common items people can and do itemize.  This

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Creating our early retirement checklist

So you’ve done all your saving and investing, took care of your Roth IRA problem, and now you’re ready to pull the trigger and tell your employer bye-bye.  However, as an early retiree, you are a forward thinking individual and wish to tie up any loose ends before your early workplace exit.  I happen to be in this situation as I write this post.  I am going to share with you what’s in our early retirement checklist. Before we dive into this checklist, I must share the lyrics that come to my mind when I think of lists; From Santa Claus

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Embracing our 38 year mortgage into retirement

Pay off your mortgage, pay off your mortgage, quickly, fast, don’t even think about not doing it!  Stop, don’t pass go until you pay off ALL your mortgage first.  You must work forever if you don’t pay off your mortgage as early retirement is impossible without doing this first. These are the near universal words in the FIRE community. What is a 38 year mortgage? Is there such a thing as a 38 year mortgage, you might be asking?  The Finance Patriot has lost his mind. No, there is no such thing as a 38 year mortgage offered from start

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The Roth IRA Rescue; Why Early Retirement Planning Requires a different plan

When I first started thinking about retirement, I never pictured myself being able to retire very early.  I had never seen it done before.  Heck, my own parents worked until death and age 70, the latter having only stopped working due to the business she worked for went bankrupt and closed its doors.  So what is a young lad to do? I knew great options existed, so I took full advantage of work pre-tax retirement accounts.  I put money into my 401(k), as much as I could to avoid the 28% (now 25%) Federal tax bracket.  Prior to this account,

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A History of My Interest in Financial Freedom and Early Retirement

Who am I and how did I get here? As an infant, the concept of work and career are foreign.  The concept of play is not.  Somewhere along the way, work becomes more important than play… far more important.  Therefore, as we grow up, it is incumbent upon us to figure out a way to reset the pendulum. Welcome to the Finance Patriot.  What comes to mind when you think of a patriot?  The web defines a patriot as; a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors. Fair enough.  In America, the

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